Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
Unfair Depiction Steven Plaut’s description of France in his article “Le Bouffon Grandiose” (op-ed, May 5,) does not fit the facts. First, actor Dieudonn
Steven Plaut’s description of France in his article “Le Bouffon Grandiose” (op-ed, May 5,) does not fit the facts.
First, actor Dieudonn?‘s provocative remarks are his alone and he has been convicted and fined by a French court, on the basis of the Lellouche Act which is among the world’s toughest legislation on hate speech and anti-Semitism.
Second, to claim that an individual’s anti-Semitism reflects French society as a whole is unjust and wrong: According to a poll published in Maariv in September 2005, 82 percent of the French like the Jews, with France ranking second among countries expressing a positive opinion (after the Netherlands).
Anti-Semitism is in total contradiction with France’s values. As President Jacques Chirac declared on Nov. 17, 2003, “When a Jew is attacked in France, it is an attack against the whole of France.” The French Government has demonstrated its absolute determination to fight this scourge, and its efforts have been widely recognized by both the Israeli authorities and the national leaders of the American Jewish community. Its zero-tolerance policy has borne fruit: anti-Semitic acts in France declined 48 percent in 2005 compared with 2004.
Finally, Mr. Plaut’s references to an “Islamic republic” in France are totally baseless. France is actively pursuing a strategy both to combat radical Islam and better integrate its Muslim community into the French society. France acted to stop the Eurosat satellite from rebroadcasting Al Manar channel programs to its territory and moved successfully to have Yahoo.fr filter Internet sites promoting hate and anti-Semitism.
McCain And Israel (I)
I read last week’s front-page story about Senator John McCain with great interest (“McCain: ‘Proudly Pro-Israel’ “). What mattered to me more than the substance of Sen. McCain’s reactions to the “misimpressions” about his Mideast policy contained in that Haaretz article was the fact that he was so anxious to correct the record.
The options for an American president when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not all that numerous and I suspect that the pre-June 1967 borders – with the possible exception of Jerusalem – will be the starting point for any president, with adjustments for Jewish population centers in the West Bank.
Both Sen. McCain and President Bush have demonstrated a healthy respect for Israeli interests. Certainly a President John Kerry or a President Al Gore would have been more likely to impose more concessions on Israel in order to bring about a settlement.
Those who were so quick to criticize Sen. McCain for his comments to Haaretz fail to realize that it’s always been U.S. policy that eventually, in exchange for Arab recognition of Israel’s right to exist and a formal peace treaty, Israel will have to cede most of the territory it won in the Six-Day War. It’s also the policy now supported by a majority of Israelis.
To take umbrage over McCain’s frank comments, whether or not Haaretz took them out of context, is unfair and terribly childish. Why should he be expected to hold views to the right of most Israelis? The last time I checked, McCain was a senator from Arizona, not a Knesset member from Kiryat Arba.
You have made some very valid points about Rabbi Avi Weiss’s departures from traditional Jewish practice and teaching. Certainly the expectation is that his yeshiva will turn out rabbis who will tend to perpetuate his thinking. What I think you are overlooking, however, is the fact that there is a huge market for what he is selling.
Rabbi Weiss’s ideas may not resonate with The Jewish Press (it is to your credit that you feature him as a columnist despite your concerns with many of his ideas) or with many others in the frum community. But there are an awful lot of Jews out there who are looking for alternatives to normative Orthodoxy and who don’t really care whether Rabbi Weiss’s innovations pass stringent halachic muster.
I was amused by the RCA’s immediate and very public response to a recent front-page story in The Jewish Week on the questioning of RCA conversions – including many involving the RCA’s av bet din, Rabbi Gedaliah Dov Schwartz – by Israeli rabbinic authorities.
But when The Jewish Press broke the story – several weeks before The Jewish Week ran its article – of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s problems with Rabbi Schwartz’s conversions, the RCA basically ignored it.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that far more of the RCA’s natural constituency read The Jewish Press than they do any other Jewish newspaper. So it strikes me as curiously shortsighted of the RCA to continually stonewall and otherwise slight The Jewish Press, which, as you reported, was the case whenever you attempted to get comments from RCA officials on the Tendler matter, and which we see is the case in this latest controversy.
I know my perception of the RCA certainly has changed for the worse over the past year.
Your editorial last week titled “Iran’s Goal” points to the sad fact that the Jewish community has been hijacked by those so-called leaders who have political agendas of their own. I’m sure I speak for many when I question how a negative spin could possibly be put on President Bush’s declaration of solidarity with Israel in the face of Iran’s threat to nuke the Jewish state.
I wonder if party affiliation comes into play here. Most of these “leaders” are staunch liberals and loyal Democrats. You hardly heard a peep from any of them when Democrat Bill Clinton was interfering in Israeli elections and strong-arming Netanyahu and Barak at Wye River and Camp David. But when a Republican president boldly puts the word and prestige of America squarely in Israel’s corner, these usually meek nonentities suddenly find their voices and release a torrent of non-gratitude at the president. How absolutely pathetic.
I was amazed to read of the criticism in certain Jewish quarters of President Bush’s vow to stand by Israel in any confrontation with Iran. These clowns passing for “leaders” claim that Bush’s declaration gives the erroneous impression that U.S. policy is designed to meet Israeli interests. To those predisposed to hating Jews and Israel, such protestations mean nothing. But to political leaders like President Bush, the message these mediocrities are sending is that forthright support for Israel is unappreciated and perhaps counterproductive.
I was impressed with last week’s “Misleading Appreciation” editorial, which sharply criticized a two-page advertisement that had recently appeared in The Jewish Press. (You previously had published a letter from Dr. Marvin Schick critical of the same ad). Further, last week’s issue not only contained your editorial taking issue with the ad, it happened to also contain another (full page) advertisement from the same group.
It’s refreshing to see a publication that is not afraid to disagree with its own advertisers on matters of principle.
Last week’s otherwise cogent editorial on the Israeli Supreme Court’s 6-5 immigration decision missed one important point. While six of the eleven judges voted not to strike down the law as being unduly violative of the rights of Israeli Arabs, one of the six judges voted that way only because the law was due to expire shortly. In his opinion, he seemed to suggest that should there be an attempt to reenact a similar measure, he would vote to strike it down.
In sum, if you look behind the numbers, there appears to be a majority on the Israeli Supreme Court that does not think an Israeli government has the right to restrict immigration in a manner that singles out Arab Israelis or is based upon population projections.
Eva Moses Kor, who along with her identical twin was one of the inmates on whom the infamous Dr. Mengele did experiments, has declared that she forgives Mengele, and by extension all Nazis. (See “Letting Go of the Death Camps,” film review, New York Times, May 18, about the movie “Forgiving Dr. Mengele.”) In so doing, she speaks for herself only, she says.
I have an aunt who survived Auschwitz and Mengele’s experiments. She suffers to this day from the hell she went through. She wouldn’t agree with Eva Moses Kor.
Many years ago, I was waiting for a bus at Jaffa Gate outside the Old City of Jerusalem. A young man approached me and said, “I see you are Jewish. I am German and I came to Israel to beg forgiveness for the deeds of my father. I ask you for forgiveness.”
I told him that while I admired his action, he had the wrong address. Only the victims can forgive.
Many years have passed. I have not forgotten that young man’s search for inner peace. But the victims were too numerous, and who can speak in their name?
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Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier
The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel. For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for […]
As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.
Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.
UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.
There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]
Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?
Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”
The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.
Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.
So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.
King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.
The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.
How can it be called a failed school when it has only been open a year?
Don’t Touch Nixon, He Saved my Life My sentiments too on our late President Nixon. Although my last name does not meet the culture, I have suffered heavily acts of anti semitism over the years(in the work place) when it is learned, (ie), I’ve taken off for Yom Kippur, just as one example. I truly understand […]
Peace must start from the ground up, not with grand slogans coming from pontificating politicians.
Let’s think what OUR interest is, and act according to it.
This past Friday, I went shopping at a local supermarket and noticed a piece of paper on the floor with what looked like Hebrew lettering. On closer examination, I was shocked to see that this small pamphlet with some form off advertising contained the full text of “Krias Shma al Hamitta,” (the Shma Israel recited […]
Dear Editor, I read with interest Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu’s February 24, 2013 article entitled, Women of the Wall Rabbi Calls Knesset Achashverosh. In 2003, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision that allows Women of the Wall to pray at the Kotel once a month on Rosh Hodesh. That is why Women of the Wall only […]
Today is my brother’s second yartzheit and a Torah was dedicated in his memory.
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